Don’t worry. These buttons will vanish. The previous wave of buttons for Delicious and Digg and Co. vanished, Facebook and Twitter and G+ might vanish or they might survive, but the buttons will vanish for sure. Or do you seriously think that in ten years we will still have those buttons on every page? No, right? Why, because you already know as a user that they’re not that great. So why not get rid of them now? Because “they’re not doing any harm”? Are you sure?
One way to make software look like a bicycle for our minds is skeuomorphism: making digital interfaces that look — but don’t work — like analog tools. But beware. A digital book that looks like a physical hardcover but works like a video recorder will backfire. As Jan Tschichold wrote in The Masterbook of Typography:
While it’s true that a touch screen follows different rules than a desktop interface with mouse or touchpad, you still need to understand how the screen interfaces work. Dear paper tiger, the iPad is not going to undo the Web, it’s accelerating the change you hate so much. Nerds have learned to care about typography because it improves the performance of interfaces. If you want to make it on the iPad, it’s time for you to learn a couple of things about interface design.
The only format that clearly states a mistake is a fat strike through. It is a strong answer to any interpretations and accusations that follow. It clearly says: “Don’t read this. This is all wrong. I take it back. I’m sorry.” Deleted tweets don’t say that — they smell like a cover-up and often make you look suspicious. And apologetic follow-up tweets don’t have the power to neutralize that screenshot of you screwing up.
If you have ever worked on a news project, you will be pleased to see how simple the new information architecture of the new NZZ site is. As a design agency, you usually do not have too much influence on the structure. The editors fight it out among themselves and you can just try to avoid the worst.
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